T Nation

Eat, Eat, Eat?


Hi, longtime lurker here. I've gained a lot of insight from the forums and articles here, and now I'd like to ask for some comments and advice on my specific situation.

I'm not a bodybuilder or competitor, but I recognize that bodybuilders are on the cusp of nutrition and training science. You won't hear any 'bodybuilders are weak' or similar nonsense from me, promise.

I've been training with 5/3/1 for about six months and making good strength gains. Lately I've been honest with myself though, and while strength is still most important to me, appearance certainly matters. I'd never taken measurements until recently, and when I plugged my wrist size into a 'Grecian Ideal' calculator, it confirmed what has always bothered me.

My arms are too little. No, really, if you saw me doing a double bicep pose, you would wonder 'why the fuck are his arms so small compared to his head'.

My chest measurement exceeds the grecian ideal, my neck, forearms, thighs, and calves are right on. Hip and waist are a little over, which is no surprise because my BF is about 15%.

My upper arm measurement ought to be 14" relaxed, but it's only 11". And that's better than it was a month ago, since I've prioritized direct arm work.

The question: do I need to follow the mantra "Eat, Eat, Eat" which so often is what's told to noobs/hardgainers? I'm not terribly lean, and would prefer to keep the BF down and grow some arm muscle. Again, I am basically satisfied with my overall size, except for my lagging arms.

I have a lot of arm to grow, though, and I wouldn't be suprised to here that I need to focus on getting bigger period to allow this growth.

What do you think?


really this a serious thread?

Pic please


Nah, look at his screen name...lol...


No, it isn't.

But we could make HIGH-larious!!


I'm not trolling. As you guys know, there are an awful lot of people out there saying that isolation work is unnecessary/gay/whatever. I liked the line of reasoning that doing squats, deadlifts, and presses along with a caloric surplus would develop the entire body, and I figured this would be adequate from an aesthetic point of view, as well.

Well, for me at least, it's insufficient. My arms aren't unusally weak or anything, just small.

So, I'm not trying to grow my largest muscles, just the arms. It seems logical that I would just focus on a caloric surplus after arm workouts, rather than eating big all day, every day. But I'm wondering if anyone can offer any additional insight (from being in the same position, or from having trained someone with a similar situation).

Incidentally, this is definitely a bodytype issue, too. Whenever I've carried more weight, be it fat or muscle, all of my bulk goes to my trunk...my limbs have always been relatively lean.


What are your goals?



Combat training?

Athletic performance in a specific sport?

If you don't fit into these categories, it really doesn't matter what you do because without clear goals...you will fail more than likely.


Are you a woman?


That's a fair point, Prof. X.

Increasing arm diameter won't serve any purpose except to be more aesthetically pleasing, so I am bodybuilder, at least for the moment. :smiley:

So, say a bodybuilder has both arms in a cast for 6 months and loses several inches to atrophy. Naturally he is going to prioritize getting his arms back into proportion with the rest of his body.

Does he eat like he is on a standard bulk cycle, or tailor the caloric intake to the circumstance?


Yeah my girlfriend has bigger arms this is what she does

train, rest, eat, repeat


i am pretty tiny and my forearm is bigger than that. And your chest is past its genetic potential or did i read that wrong? Maybe i am just lacking sleep but this seems like a very odd physique

If you want HUGE arms you have to do pull ups right


Ryan, that's right, it is an odd physique. If anyone follows MMA, my body type is just like Chris Leben.

No, I'm sure my chest would grow bigger, I don't want it to. I'm 5'8" but I wear a size 40 jacket. I have broad shoulders and no height, looks top-heavy.

And yes, I was thinking chin-ups, rows, and dips would do the trick. As far as strength is concerned, that seems fine, but as you all know getting stronger and getting bigger are related, but not identical.


if you're doing 5/3/1 then you're lifting 4 days per week right?

do at least some arm work every day.

or add an arm day

.....or do both


Post pictures.



11 inch arms and a size 40 jacket, please post pictures..


You were right to put this in the nutrition/supplement section as I know a secret to getting big arms through diet.

Mix each of the following ingredients into a large glass:(Drink every 2-3 hours)

2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
2 Tablespoons Rich Maple Syrup
1/10 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper Powder ? or to taste (as much as you can stand)
8 ounces (250 milliliters of Pure Water

Bingo 21 inch arms!


No way this is serious.

Dude has been training for 6 months and has already meet/exceeded the Grecian Ideal Physique Bullshit whatever it is, for every bodypart except biceps?

Makes a commet about direct arm work being gay.

Makes a comment about squats, deads and presses being all you need.

Makes a comment about his small arms are due to genetics (and not the fact that he doesnt hit them directly lol)

He basically asks if there is a specific diet to get bigger arms?

No way this guy is for real.


Dude...we know.



wait a sec... 11 inch arms. 40 inch chest. 6 months lifting


idk how i missed all that


All he needed to add was that he couldn't find jeans that fit his legs and that he was losing his hair and then it would have been complete.